- Series: Posadas County Mysteries (Book 18)
- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (June 29, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1590587855
- ISBN-13: 978-1590587850
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,514,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Endangered: A Zoo Mystery Paperback – June 29, 2012
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"Readers will enjoy this fast-moving story that deals with timely environmental issues." —Booklist
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The series is set in the Portland, Oregon/Vancouver, Washington area, at Finley Memorial Zoo. The author does a great job of capturing the Pacific Northwest ambience. In this book, the main character, Iris Oakley, is sent off to a drug bust site with fellow zookeeper, Denny, to pick up 'exotic pets' to quarantine at the zoo until their post-trial dispensation is determined. Wild-caught South American parrots and a slew of rare endangered tortoises are discovered in addition to 2 captive bred macaws. Lots of convoluted events occur, putting Iris and her young son, Robby and Denny in danger. All in all, a fascinating read, even for someone who isn't really into mysteries.
This series should be read in order since there is a progressive story line and character development. Read 'Night Kill' first, then Did Not Survive: A Zoo Mystery (Zoo Mysteries) and then Endangered: A Zoo Mystery (Zoo Mysteries). The author does a pretty good job of tracking details but a few discrepancies surfaced in the third book. Iris wore Calvin's coveralls during her pregnancy in the second book, but in the third book she said she had resorted to wearing Hap's. Also, in the second book her Honda was totaled by the stolen zoo van but she's still driving a Honda with a clouded leopard painted by her father on the back spare tire cover. Tiny details but still.....
All in all, this is one of the best book series I've stumbled on recently and I'm desperately hoping for more! Even if you aren't a real mystery fan but love biology/animals there's plenty of juicy animal husbandry details related to zoo-keeping to keep you going. In this book there is a fascinating sub-plotline involving a newborn mandrill and the manipulation of mandrill social behavior to benefit the newborn and it's mamma. If you enjoy these books, look for the Gunn Zoo mysteries (The Anteater of Death: A Gunn Zoo Mystery (Gunn Zoo Series) and The Koala of Death: A Gunn Zoo Mystery (Gunn Zoo Series)) as well.
A unique combination is found in Ann Littlewood's Endangered: a gripping mystery, a collection of wonderfully charming characters, a dose of wit, and a very relevant examination of the realities of animal trafficking and the suffering of poorly thought-out pets. Littlewood draws on both her admiration for animals and her experience as a zookeeper to infuse the novel with the sort of detailing that enraptures a reader, and her keen talent for crafting smart characters and unexpected thrills carries the story into a fascinating new landscape. The result is a book as easily enlightening as it is entertaining. The pacing of the book is well done, allowing the reader to examine the details of Iris's life and plight before zipping through the curves of a superbly-crafted plot. I felt that a door had been opened, an opportunity to explore and learn about a unique new world; I loved it. And as for the plot, I thought for sure I knew who'd done it...and I was in for a shock.
I was instantly drawn to Iris, a character who works hard, lives passionately, and deals with life's little (and not-so-little) problems as they come. Her partner in retrieving the exotic animals, her old flame Denny, was another source of intrigue with all his quirks, conspiracy theories, and honest likeability. Scattered amid the pages of the book are yet more vivid, curious characters and Littlewood comfortably invites her reader to settle in and get to know them. Though easily read on its own, Endangered is the third in Ann Littlewood's Iris Oakley zoo mysteries; I'm looking forward to revisiting the plucky heroine and experiencing more of Iris Oakley's world throughout the series. In all, Endangered is a terrific excursion for thrill-seekers and animal lovers alike; call it a safari of suspense, and a very enjoyable one.
Also of note, a portion of the author's proceeds from the book benefit various animal welfare organizations.
(Review © Casee Marie, originally published on September 5, 2012 at LiteraryInklings.com. I received a copy of the book for the purpose of review.)
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